Can I use white vinegar before bleach? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-28-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Can I use white vinegar before bleach?

Ok, I have been out of keeping fish and aquariums since 97. Due to a rekindled interest, I have hunted down what I have left of my stuff. Several tanks, boxs of sub filters, tubing, petrified rock, drift wood, box filters, outside filters. Here is my problem. The boxes have been gotten into by rats. (where I live, the Norway rats came in here in 2000. A real problem) So, rat urine is on everything. Some stuff I have just thrown away. I had kept some of my fish food, the rats ate it and most of the containers. Hope they got indigestion. I was thinking I could rinse everything in hot water and white vinegar and then use bleach water to disenfect everything before i start setting up my aquariums again. Any thoughts, suggestions, wouold be greatly appreciated. I have been out of the fish keeping for so long, I am sure there is lots of new stuff I never even dreamed of back then. thanks, penfin
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-28-2012, 06:01 PM
Welcome back to the hobby and welcome to TFK.

Sure white vinegar works really well as an acidic cleaner/disinfectant and you may not need to use chlorine bleach. In either case, especially bleach, you just need to make sure you rinse really, really well.

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post #3 of 7 Old 04-28-2012, 06:04 PM
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First if there was any food left untouched by the rats, just throw it away anyways. Food is cheap and being that old it almost certainly wouldn't be good for the fish. Second, white vinegar should be alright as long as you rinse and soak in just water after. As for the bleach, I personally wouldn't recommend ever using bleach for anything to do with aquarium and fish use. Everything you have should be able to be cleaned up nicely with a little elbow grease and water. You could use some soap, but like the white vinegar, wash really well afterwords. Welcome back to the fish keeping hobby.

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post #4 of 7 Old 04-28-2012, 06:06 PM
Make sure everything is completly dry before filling with water for the fish as well.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-28-2012, 06:15 PM
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I'm sure the fish food would be expired by now anyways, and we have much better brands and quality nowadays.
For cleaning dirty tanks- I use vinegar first to kill germs. Then for any hard water stains, or old green algae stains, baking soda is a dream.
If you choose to use bleach, totally safe too, as long as you leave the tank out in the sun for a week.. It'll oxidize really quickly in the light and disappear into the atmosphere.
Soap, I wouldn't use.
Welcome back to fish keeping. :)

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-28-2012, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone

Thanks everyone for the Welcomes!!! And thanks for the replys. I am glad I can use the white vinegar and appreciate the advice bout rinsing well and let air dry. I still remembered taht about the bleach which is what I always used but not the white vinegar that I never used on my aquariums. And thanks for the baking soda, didn't know that one.
Not to worry about the food, the rats ate it all along with most of the plastic containers. I still am hoping to find the other silent giants I used to have so I can get them fixed. Only found one so far. I am sure I will be dropping in often to see what is going on but it will be at least a month before I get everything up and running. Still have to find my python as I can't move teh hundred out front. Looks like it will stay on the patio. Penny
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-28-2012, 10:55 PM
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Heh, a hundred? What are you planning on keeping? :D
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